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Sinking potato on cottage pie

(25 Posts)
OdinsLoveChild Sat 22-Oct-16 16:49:18

I can make lovely pastry, gorgeous jams, bake beautiful cakes and pickles galore.

I cannot however get my potato to stay on top of my cottage pie. How do I stop it sinking? I really don't know where im going wrong. I've tried with butter, without butter. Piped on the top and spooned on top. On top of hot filling and cold filling, put on hot and on cold. What am I doing wrong? It just sinks to the bottom, disintegrates and turns into slop. confused

Pippin8 Sat 22-Oct-16 16:50:42

I'm not expert buy I would say your filling isn't thick enough or your potato needs bulking out with cheese.

Sparklesilverglitter Sat 22-Oct-16 16:51:08

I'd say either your mash or cottage pie sauce isn't thick enough.

suze28 Sat 22-Oct-16 16:53:33

Do you add milk to your mashed potato? I've found that mash made with no milk added stays on top far better.

Artandco Sat 22-Oct-16 16:54:50

Is your sauce really runny?

RNBrie Sat 22-Oct-16 16:54:53

I'd say it's not a mash problem but a mince problem. There should be very little liquid left after you've cooked the mince. Also it helps to wait until the mince has cooled down before putting the mash on top.

Do a spoonful around the edges then fill in the middle, make sure you don't have any gaps.

If it makes you feel any better, I can bake anything too... Except flapjacks. They come out like little bricks. Every single time!!

PinkiePiesCupcakes Sat 22-Oct-16 16:57:26

Use a spatula and don't put it on top of the filling but scrape it on the edge of the dish, iyswim.
Get it to adhere to the dish side first and then fork it level.

flumpybear Sat 22-Oct-16 16:57:34

Mince problem I think too - i usually thinks clean my gravy, but leave most of the gravy in a saucepan and add it after (so don't put the pie itself)

MrsNuckyThompson Sat 22-Oct-16 16:58:22

Yup. Think your mince is too runny.

OdinsLoveChild Sat 22-Oct-16 16:58:46

I don't add milk to the potatoes no. Maybe the sauce is too thin then. It's not very firm but it's not loose either (it doesn't spread across the plate on serving) . Maybe chuck some more flour in it to make it very thick.

Hissy Sat 22-Oct-16 17:44:56

You have to let the mince cool first before putting on the potato.

Mindtrope Sat 22-Oct-16 18:06:46

Solids won't sit on top of liquids. Your mince mixture should be fairly dry. Moist, but no gravy. The mince mixture needs to be fairly thick. If not then I don;t hesitate to pass through a sieve or colander. Much easier to assemble, retain the sauce- everyone loves extra gravy, especially if pimped up with extra fried onion or mustard.

exWifebeginsat40 Sat 22-Oct-16 18:45:32

finish the mince off by stirring a spoonful of cornflour in. let it cool in the dish until it gets a 'skin' on it. tiny spoonfuls of mash and bob's your dad's brother.

Thinkingblonde Sat 22-Oct-16 19:01:31

I fry the onions then add the mince with dash of Daddies brown sauce I don't add any other liquid, any liquid from the juices is drained off and reserved to make gravy with. The potato topping is quite thick and stiff. I don't add a lot of milk or butter. Let the mince cool and spoon the potato over the top. A blob on each corner and one in the middle then spread it out.

Hissy Sun 23-Oct-16 07:47:59

If you cool the meat, the fat and gravy solidify...

That's how professional kitchens do it.

raspberryrippleicecream Fri 04-Nov-16 22:15:16

Jamie Oliver on his programme tonight put a layer of frozen peas in top of the mince before adding the potato, and said it was to stop sinking mash!

Indecisivejo Mon 07-Nov-16 18:18:59

It sinks if the mince mixture is still hot when u put the mash on, leave it to cool first

iphilomela Sat 12-Nov-16 09:48:50

The trick I use is to place the mince layer in the bottom of the dish you are going to cook it in and then place it in the fridge. Leave to cool thoroughly! You will know it has cooled long enough, when there appears to be what looks like a 'skin' on top of the mince. This 'skin' is strong enough to support the weight of the mashed potato. Balance small blobs of mash evenly over the mince and then spread using a fork. The ridges left by the fork in the potato will go nice and crispy when cooked in the oven.

SlottedSpoon Sat 12-Nov-16 10:13:50

I always ladle off most of the sauce/gravy before topping the meat mixture with potato, and serve it separately afterwards because you need the meat mixture to be quite 'sturdy' and bordering on dry. Also the potato - it can be difficult to spread if it's too thick, but will immediately sink if it's too loose - especially if there is a lot of gravy in the dish. I sort of dollop the potato on in blobs rather than trying to spread it on, then just lightly blend the very top layer to prevent gaps.

Lenazabaglione Sat 12-Nov-16 11:03:11

I use a trick from Delia Smith! I steam the potatoes rather than boil. When they are cooked, drain then cover the steamer with a clean tea towel for 5 minutes or so to absorb the steam. Mash with butter, no milk. Works a treat and no sinking.

Sgtmajormummy Sat 12-Nov-16 11:10:33

You could put a layer of wafer-thin raw potatoes on top of the filling. They would cook quickly because they're sitting in the gravy, but still make a shelf for your mashed potatoes.

MissMargie Sat 12-Nov-16 11:12:50

I gently lay spoonfuls of mash over the mince, then lightly spread across with a flicking motion with the fork, joining the spoonfuls into a layer.
I also use a dish sized to have potato slightly above dish so it goes crispy. Think oven is 180 degrees or higher

OlennasWimple Sat 12-Nov-16 11:13:07

RNBrie - try cooking your flapjacks for five minutes less

Rafeontherun Sat 12-Nov-16 11:15:10

Mince is too runny

I do 500ml of stock to 500g of mince and simmer for 40 mins. And thicken with cornstarch mixed with water. It's lovely and thick.

orangebird69 Sat 12-Nov-16 11:25:34

Only butter in the mash. The filling doesn't have to be cold. My trick is to chuck in some gravy granules into the meat mix - really thickens it up and adds extra beefy flavour.

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